Monthly Archives: September 2009
Starting with a request for something with chicken and tarragon I made this. Boneless, skinless chicken breast diced, seasoned w/salt and pepper, browned in a skillet. Remove chicken from pan, keep warm. Saute mushrooms, then add shallots and garlic, saute 1 min. Deglaze with splash of white wine. Add 3/4 cup chicken stock, reduce by half. Add 1 cup cream. Reduce to desired consistency. Add more stock to thin out if needed. Add to the sauce 1 bunch tarragon, chopped, a few sprinkles of turmeric, some freshly grated nutmeg, zest from 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
This meal is filled with a variety of ingredients that I like to cook with because of their inflammation reducing benefits. Arthritis Kitchen ingredients include garlic, shallots, lemon, mushrooms and turmeric.
Sablefish has got to be one of my absolute favorite varieties of fish. This dense white fish boasts one of the highest sources of omega-3 you can find. The ones I used in this recipe were caught off the Oregon coast. Sablefish is wild, not farmed and is sometimes referred to as black cod. Sometimes you can purchase this fish smoked. I prefer it in its natural state and adding flavors of my own.
Miso Ginger Broiled Sablefish
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 Tbs ginger grated
- 3 Tbs Miso Paste
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
Combine ingredients into a glass bowl or zip-lock bag. Add fish pieces and marinate in the fridge 2 hours.
Place fillets on a baking sheet and broil 10-15 minutes.
I served this with plain steamed rice and baby bokchoy topped with butter and lemon zest.
Today for brunch I made a spinach frittata with bacon and caramelized onions.
I like to use onions in my cooking as often as I can as they are one of the foods said to help reduce inflammation. Spinach is another ingredient for health. I used a whole box of frozen chopped spinach in this recipe. Very healthy and very filling.
Sometimes in The Arthritis Kitchen I like to take short cuts that will make it easier to prepare meals when experiencing a flare up Today that meant using packaged, ready to go salad greens and bean sprouts.
You can find good quality salad mixes in the grocery store that are already pre-washed and ready to go. While these are usually more expensive than buying and prepping the ingredients yourself the ease of preparation is a plus. If you are in a crunch for time or don’t have the energy to wash and prep veg this is a good solution.
Tri Tip Steak – this cut of meat is new to me and I am pleased to report that I really like it. I usually would buy strip loin, new york cut, rib eye as my steak of choice. The other day when trying to make my choice at the meat counter a fellow shopper said – “try the tri tip – you wont’ be disappointed” . That proved to be true and I have been picking this cut up lately. As you can see it is a combination of being both lean and nicely marbled. That translates to good flavor and tenderness. It is also at a way lower price point than the other cuts of steak I had been buying. This has the stamp of approval from the Arthritis Kitchen.
How I prepared the meal:
- Season steaks with salt and pepper
- Heat pan – add oil – wait until it “shimmers”
- Add steaks – cook until desired doneness
- Remove steaks to a plate – tent with foil
- Add bean sprouts to pan – add a splash of soy sauce – saute to heat through
Today was the official last day of summer and I wanted to make something light and healthy with a summer feel to it. I made one of my all time faves which is a tomato basil bocchini salad. The basil is today’s Arthritis fighting ingredient.
Basil and the essential oil of this plant is said to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body making it an ideal for anyone with arthritis. The oil of this plant contains a substance that blocks the effects of an enzyme in the body causes inflammation and swelling.
These tomatoes were perfectly ripe and full of summer flavor. The fragrant basil, mild fresh mozzarella, some sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil made this the perfect first course. I also added a few drops of balsamic vinegar but did that after I snapped the photo.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip – The Right Knife – The key to avoiding strain on your hands and wrists is using the right knife for the right job. In the Arthritis Kitchen I have several knives that are must have items for me. For the task of slicing up the ripe tomato and soft cheese for this salad it was my serrated thin blade knife. While I don’t use this always as my go to knife it does the trick for slicing soft items and does not require much effort at all to use.
This afternoon I used some of the blueberries that I picked up to make blueberry tarts.
I first baked the empty shells. While in the oven I made a small batch of custard using Bird’s Custard Powder. Filled tart shells 2/3 full with the custard, topped with a handful of blueberries in each one and then spooned over some blackberry glaze which was some melted down blackberry/blueberry jam. Keep chilled.
I have been cooking a lot with turmeric lately for its inflammation reducing qualities. I’m experimenting with different quantities and combinations with other seasonings to find the right balance and flavor profiles for different dishes. Tonight we’re having Nachos. I’ll brown ground beef and season that up with a turmeric spice blend. Today I used the following:
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
Mmm Blueberries: Wanting to take advantage of the bounty of the season, yesterday I went out during lunch and picked up 5lbs of blueberries from one of the farms near by. Blueberries are considered one of the super foods and I have always found them super delicious.
Blueberries are extremely high in anti-oxidants, are loaded with vitamin C, are high in fiber and low in calories. These make blueberries a star ingredient in the Arthritis Kitchen.
This morning I prepped the berries for freezing. I first washed them by submerging them all in a big container of water and swirling them around. When doing this any leaves, stems etc. float to the top. I then use my handy spider to scoop out the berries, let the spider drain on a tea towel then place the berries on a single layer on paper towels and let them dry. This is a great technique because it is super easy to do, is very gentle on the berries as well as your hands and wrists. After the berries dried I then placed them on cookie sheets in a single layer and popped them into the freezer. I’ll then put them into different sized zip-lock bags and freeze them for future use.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip – Use a Spider - The spider is another one of my must have items for the Arthritis Kitchen. It is super light weight and can be used for dozens of kitchen tasks. The long wooden handle allows you to use it to reach into a pot of boiling water (or oil) and safely remove and drain your items from the pot. Rather than taking a heavy pot full of water to the sink to drain simply use your spider to remove the items and place into a bowl. I use this for potatoes, perogies, short cut pasta, hard boiled eggs etc. etc. It really saves strain for arthritic hands or wrists.
Today in the Arthritis Kitchen the health boosting ingredients I’m using are miso, ginger and garlic and spinach. I’m cooking pork tenderloin and I’m marinating it in golden miso paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. I’ve used this combination of ingredients before and I just love the flavors. I’ll marinate this for at least a couple of hours then grill til nicely browned and finished it in a 400 degree oven. After letting it rest, I sliced into medallions to be served a top a spinach salad with carrots, snap peas, green onions.
Miso Ginger Marinade: 2 – 3 Tbs miso paste, 1/8 cup soy sauce, 1 tsp each ginger and garlic, 1 Tbs brown sugar, 1/8 cup vermouth, sake or white wine.
Miso Ginger Pork Salad
I added some grapefruit segments and pine nuts at the end. Dressing was a shallot vinaigrette.
I love cooking using citrus and fresh herbs not only for their bright flavors but also for their health boosting properties. Tonight I’ll be using lemon, parsley and dill as the star ingredients in all 3 of my dishes.
Marinade for Chicken **see tip
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 bunch each fresh dill and flat leaf parsley
- 2 cloves garlic – smashed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- splash of white wine
- 8 grinds black pepper, good pinch of kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a large zip lock bag. Add chicken pieces toss in marinade to coat evenly. Refrigerate for min 2 hours or over night.
Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini
We love grilled vegetables. I like to add flavor by dressing them with some flavor before grilling. Tonight I used some of the chopped parsley, dill from the dish above and added the zest of one lemon. Combined with some white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and a few good splashes of olive oil. I let this set for a min of 20 min but up to an hour before grilling. I grilled these first then let them sit to become room temperature for serving.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip – Work Saver Version:
If you want to use this idea but with out any work at all in prepping a marinade, use any bottled Italian salad dressing you happen to like. Its a quick, easy way to add flavor. These dishes can also be prepared in the oven instead of grilling.